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Communications system providing personnel access based upon near-field communication and related methods

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Title: Communications system providing personnel access based upon near-field communication and related methods.
Abstract: A security system may include an access control device associated with a personnel access position. The access control device may include a first Near-Field Communication (NFC) sensor, and a first controller configured to selectively grant personnel access based upon receiving a valid security code from the first NFC sensor, and to deny personnel access and generate an access denial electronic message(s) based upon receiving an invalid security code from the first NFC sensor. The system may also include a mobile wireless communications device(s) including a second NFC sensor and a second controller, which may be configured to communicate a security code via the second NFC sensor to the first NFC sensor based upon proximity therewith, and to receive a corresponding access denial electronic message from the first controller based upon the security code being invalid. ...


USPTO Applicaton #: #20120075057 - Class: 340 53 (USPTO) - 03/29/12 - Class 340 


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The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20120075057, Communications system providing personnel access based upon near-field communication and related methods.

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TECHNICAL FIELD

This application relates to the field of communications, and more particularly, to electronic devices and related methods that use near-field communication (NFC).

BACKGROUND

Mobile communication systems continue to grow in popularity and have become an integral part of both personal and business communications. Various mobile devices now incorporate Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) features such as calendars, address books, task lists, calculators, memo and writing programs, media players, games, etc. These multi-function devices usually allow electronic mail (email) messages to be sent and received wirelessly, as well as access the Internet via a cellular network and/or a wireless local area network (WLAN), for example.

Some mobile devices incorporate contactless card technology and/or near field communication (NFC) chips. NFC technology may be used for contactless short-range communications using magnetic field induction to enable communication between electronic devices, including mobile wireless communications devices. These short-range communications include payment and ticketing, electronic keys, identification, device set-up service and similar information sharing. This short-range high frequency wireless communications technology exchanges data between devices over a short distance, such as only a few centimeters.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a schematic block diagram of a security system in accordance with one example embodiment.

FIG. 2 is a schematic block diagram of the mobile wireless communications device of the system of FIG. 1 shown in greater detail.

FIG. 3 is a schematic block diagram in which a plurality of mobile wireless communications devices are shown for use with the security system of FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a schematic block diagram of an alternative embodiment of the mobile wireless communications devices of FIG. 3.

FIGS. 5 and 6 are flow diagrams illustrating method aspects associated with the system of FIG. 1 and mobile wireless communications devices of FIGS. 2 through 4.

FIG. 7 is a schematic block diagram of another security system in accordance with an example embodiment.

FIG. 8 is a schematic block diagram of an alternative embodiment of the system of FIG. 7.

FIGS. 9 and 10 are flow diagrams illustrating method aspects associated with the systems of FIGS. 7 and 8.

FIG. 11 is a schematic block diagram illustrating an example mobile wireless device components that may be used with the mobile wireless communications devices of the example embodiments.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The present description is made with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which exemplary embodiments are shown. However, many different embodiments may be used, and thus the description should not be construed as limited to the embodiments set forth herein. Rather, these embodiments are provided so that this disclosure will be thorough and complete. Like numbers refer to like elements throughout, and prime notation is used to indicate similar elements or steps in alternative embodiments.

Generally speaking, a security system is disclosed herein which may include an access control device associated with a personnel access position. The access control device may include a first Near-Field Communication (NFC) sensor, and a first controller configured to selectively grant personnel access based upon receiving a valid security code from the first NFC sensor, and to deny personnel access and generate at least one access denial electronic message based upon receiving an invalid security code from the first NFC sensor. The security system may also include at least one mobile wireless communications device comprising a second NFC sensor, a wireless receiver, and a second controller. The second controller may be configured to communicate a security code via the second NFC sensor to the first NFC sensor based upon proximity therewith, and to receive a corresponding access denial electronic message from the first controller via the wireless receiver based upon the security code being invalid. As such, the system advantageously provides an approach for using mobile wireless communications devices to provide personnel access based upon NFC security code exchange and while providing denial electronic messages to the mobile wireless communication devices, allowing for explanations of denied access, for example.

More particularly, the first controller may be configured to selectively grant personnel access further based upon receiving additional authentication data from the wireless receiver. By way of example, the valid security code may comprise a single-use security code. Furthermore, the at least one mobile wireless communications device may comprise a plurality thereof, and the second controller may be configured to receive the valid security code from another mobile wireless communications device.

In some embodiments, the second controller may be configured to receive the valid security code via the second NFC sensor. Also, the at least one mobile wireless communications device may further include a wireless receiver, and the second controller may be configured to receive the valid security code via the wireless receiver. The second controller may receive the access denial message via the second NFC sensor or the wireless receiver, for example. Also by way of example, the wireless receiver may comprise a cellular receiver, a Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) receiver, etc. Additionally, the access denial message may comprise an access denial electronic mail (email) message.

A related mobile wireless communications device, such as the one discussed briefly above, and a related security method are also provided. The security method may be for an access control device associated with a personnel access position and comprising a first NFC sensor, and at least one mobile wireless communications device comprising a second NFC sensor and a wireless receiver. The method may include communicating a security code from the second NFC sensor to the first NFC sensor based upon proximity therewith. The method may further include selectively granting personnel access based upon the security code from the first NFC sensor being valid, and denying personnel access and generating at least one access denial electronic message based upon the security code from the first NFC sensor being invalid. In addition, a corresponding access denial electronic message may be received at the at least one mobile wireless communications device from the access control device based upon the security code being invalid.

A related access control device, such as the one described briefly above, and security method are also provided. The method may include generating a temporary security code at a given electronic device based upon the unique ID associated therewith, receiving the temporary security code at the at least one mobile wireless communications device from the given electronic device, and receiving the temporary security code at the access control device from the first NFC sensor via NFC communications. The method may further include selectively granting personnel access via the access control device based upon the received temporary security code, and determining the unique ID associated with the given electronic device at the access control device.



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Previous Patent Application:
Security system providing temporary personnel access based upon near-field communication and related methods
Next Patent Application:
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Industry Class:
Communications: electrical
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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20120075057 A1
Publish Date
03/29/2012
Document #
13241501
File Date
09/23/2011
USPTO Class
340/53
Other USPTO Classes
International Class
06F7/04
Drawings
12



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